Exploring the Harry Potter world at Universal Orlando is one of my favorite experiences. I was always a huge fan of the books and films, and seeing it come to life in an interactive way is the coolest most exhilarating experience.
There are two sections now, Hogsmede, the wizarding town by Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley, where all fashionable witches and wizards do their shopping. You can ride the Hogwarts express between both areas. The dining selections stay true to the books with dishes of English cuisine with a magical twist. The butterbeer is even better than you would imagine, it truly gives you that yummy feeling just like how it's described in the books. You can get it regular, hot or iced, depending on your preferences for the weather.
You can go shopping for wizarding robes, Quidditch sweaters, Hogwarts notebooks. You can get your very own wand from Ollivander's, and if you need to make a stop at the bank you can head on over to the goblin run Gringotts.
A wizard came to my aid in the rain and was nice enough to share his umbrella while I attempted my spells.
There are multiple spots in the park where, if you move your wand in a certain way, it will make special effects happen. For example in the picture above, if you wave your wand up there it will make all the lights in the huge window turn on and twinkle. It is such a cool experience to be able to interact with the Harry Potter world and cause things to happen.
I received my wand when I was picked by Mr. Ollivander, of course. I was the youngest looking one in the room, and I was picked to participate in the scene just like in the first Harry Potter movie. I tried a few wands but they didn't agree. Then Ollivander picked out one wand, muttering "curious, curious..." That wand light up and the air rushed around the room. That wand was the one and I still have it to this day.
Waiting outside of the Gringotts ride. The wait time was over four hours! We got butterbeer ice cream instead that time, and it was so good.
On the opposite side resides Hogsmede, the wizarding town near Hogwarts. Both parks feature trademark places and objects from the films, such as the train and the enchanted flying car.
There is a scale model of the Hogwarts castle which houses a theme park ride. Below is the entrance to Hogsmede village.
There are live performances throughout the day of the Hogwarts singers and Beauxbatons dancers.
They rebranded an existing roller coaster to be Harry Potter themed, tying in the dragons on the ride to the dragons that exist in the Goblet of Fire. It's a super fun ride, with two options, one for each dragon, blue or red.
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